Miners and retail stocks push FTSE to new highs

Retail stocks continued to benefit from their peak Christmas season. Stronger spending and faster growth from supermarkets drew in investors.

Miners also had a good day as strong metal prices and positive broker notes pushed helped to push Randgold Resources (RRS) and Anglo American (AAL) up to 7% higher.

The British Retail Consortium reported that a strong Christmas week was reflected spending growth in December as a whole, while Kantar Worldpanel revealed the fastest recorded growth by supermarkets since 2014.

Traditional supermarkets Tesco (TSCO) and Sainsburys (SBRY) moved higher.

Brent crude oil fell 0.9% to $54.41 and West Texas Intermediate crude oul retreated 0.7% to $51.59 per barrel, respectively.

Gold gained 0.4% to $1,188 per ounce and copper rallied 3% to $5,754 per tonne.

FTSE 100 RISERS AND FALLERS

Supermarket Morrisons (MRW) advanced 3.7% on the Christmas rush as like-for-like sales advanced 2.9% in the nine weeks to 1 January. It was the strongest Christmas performance for seven years, which lead CEO David Potts to upgrade full year profit before tax guidance.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

AIM-quoted Prospex Oil and Gas (PXOG) failed to recover any hydrocarbons from a key Polish well and suffered a 65% drop as investors clamoured to sell the stock.

Independent oil and gas firm Serica Energy (SQZ) beat its initial guidance with an average production of 3,150 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the UK North Sea Erskine field since August. The stock rallied 17.8% to 19p.

Investors were eager to buy into software business CloudCall (CALL) on its latest trading update, which revealed it expects revenue growth of 50% over the prior year to £4.9m. The stock rocketed 14.9% to 74p.

Shares in cloud solutions provider K3 (KBT) plummeted by 21% on a profit warning after weak Christmas trading. The company warned that EBITDA will be £3.5m lower than anticipated as softening market conditions hit sales.

The market raised a glass to Majestic Wine (WINE) on news its Majestic Retail business enjoyed its biggest ever Christmas with like-for-like sales fizzing 7.5%. Growth at online retailer Naked Wines also accelerated since the half year as all markets showed improved momentum.

Online fashion retailer Boohoo.com (BOO) was in top form after unveiling strong trading across all regions in the four months to December. It upgraded sales growth expectations (excluding the recent acquisition of PrettyLittleThing) for the year to 28 February again.

Investors were not put off by GoCompare.com's mascot (GOCO) as full year results showed adjusted operating profits rose by 30% to £30m. This was at the top end of guidance after its split from parent Esure (ESUR) last year.

Online takeaway service Just Eat (JE.) was stale at 548p on a lack of annual upgrades.

The market sweetened to stevia ingredients producer PureCircle (PURE) after the US Customs and Border Protection its shipments.